Shan Boodram wants her clients to be in the driver’s seat of their love lives.
But to do that, they often have to take the back seat, as the certified sexologist shows them herself how it’s done.
Boodram, an LA-based intimacy expert, goes to extreme lengths to get men and women out of dating ruts — including stealth-watching dates and holding up actual cue cards with tips for impressing. She details this and other stunts in her new book, “The Game of Desire: 5 Surprising Secrets to Dating with Dominance — and Getting What You Want” (Dey Street Books).
Boodram tested her theories on five women who had all but written off their dating lives. She spent months putting them through what amounted to a love bootcamp: from having them complete a relatively tame series of questionnaires to doing real-world exercises — such as having them dab a bit of, let’s just say, eau de femme, on their necks and wrists for an outing to Soho House.
“I’ve done it literally for 10 years, and I’ve had on and off success,” she says of the rated-R technique.
In the end, she says, the outcome was pretty wholesome: They figured out the many ways to woo the types of partners they wanted to be with, and how to let their personal quirks and attributes shine.
Here are some of the most drastic measures she’s taken with her clients.
Take a cue
To help her unlucky-in-love client Courtney, Boodram sat directly behind her and her date at a restaurant, then flashed her cue cards.
She held up cards to remind Courtney to smile — “Just smiling will make someone more attractive,” she says — or, share some good news about herself. “That way there’s this flood of dopamine around them,” she says.
She also reminded Courtney to disagree with her date from time to time, about innocuous topics such as football teams. “People who are too agreeable are seen as inauthentic,” she says.
In the end, Courtney’s love interest was so impressed, he asked for a second date during dinner, Boodram says.
And best of all? He had no idea she was there. “He was so engrossed in her that he never noticed me.”
Look the part
Boodram gives clients makeovers to highlight their best attributes and style, from pinpointing the right spot on their cheekbones for Kardashian-perfect contouring, to styling clothes that fit them comfortably.
Her favorite at-home advice is to find the right color for how you’re feeling — “it can help you communicate something about yourself,” she says. For instance, “For the days you want to be seen and remembered,” opt for yellow with complementary accents of olive and black. And “for the days you know exactly who and what you want,” don deep red, with complementary hues of navy blue and off-white, she says.
Check out some of her clients’ style after-and-before transformations.
Ex marks the spot
An ex-lover is probably the last person anyone wants to strike up a deep conversation with, but Boodram says it’s essential. She had her clients write their exes to find out what their strengths and weaknesses were as partners.
“That information can be really illuminating,” she says.
She advises a framework that steers clear of too much drama: “Just say, ‘I’m trying to get better at loving so I can be better for the next person I fall for.’ ”
“People have these massive intimate flaws that they don’t know about,” she says. “Your family members know that thing about you that’s repulsive, but they’re not gonna wanna tell you because it’s awkward for them!”
Smell the part
Don’t worry, this one doesn’t actually involve the aforementioned scent technique. Boodram had her five clients wear different scents — bacon, jelly doughnut, fresh laundry and high-end perfume — and ask men to share their favorite of the four.
“Bacon performed the worst, but people who liked it really like it,” she says. “The more traditionally masculine guys — the security guard, construction guy — they really liked it.”
But it was that fresh laundry scent that did the trick for most guys. Boodram says it’s likely because the smell triggers a positive feeling, either of being home or being clean. She says the perfume is available on Amazon for 20 bucks.
“I wear it all the time,” Boodram says, bragging: “I once got a compliment on it from Steve Harvey.”
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